Arse­nal routs Basel 4-1 to win Cham­pi­ons League group

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -


Arse­nal eas­ily beat Basel 4-1 to fin­ish top of its Cham­pi­ons League group yes­ter­day, pow­ered by a hat trick from lit­tle-used for­ward Lu­cas Perez. Get­ting a rare start, the Span­ish for­ward gave Arse­nal a three-goal lead by the 47th minute as the vis­i­tors coasted to vic­tory.

Me­sut Ozil’s de­light­ful as­sist let Alex Iwobi score in the 53rd be­fore Basel sub­sti­tute Sey­dou Doumbia struck a con­so­la­tion goal in the 78th.

Arse­nal un­ex­pect­edly fin­ished atop Group A, ris­ing above Paris Saint­Ger­main which drew 2-2 at home to win­less Lu­do­gorets Raz­grad.

As a group win­ner, Arse­nal is seeded in Mon­day’s draw for the Round of 16, hop­ing to avoid a sev­enth straight exit at that stage. Arse­nal will avoid the likes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid but the pot of un­seeded teams is stronger than usual.

One pos­si­ble op­po­nent is Bay­ern Mu­nich which ousted Arse­nal in the first knock­out round in 2013 and ‘14.

An­other op­tion is ei­ther Real Madrid or Borus­sia Dort­mund, which play Wed­nes­day in Spain with lead­er­ship of Group F at stake. Arse­nal com­pleted its 17th straight suc­cess­ful group stage with a de­served win on a cold night in Switzer­land.

Lu­cas Perez has made lit­tle im­pact in north Lon­don since a dead­line-beat­ing move from De­portivo La Coruna in Au­gust.

Still, the 28-year-old for­ward scored his first Cham­pi­ons League goal in the eighth minute and scored in al­most iden­ti­cal fash­ion eight min­utes later.

Each time, left back Kieran Gibbs was found deep in the Basel area. First a cross, then a shot, flashed across the goal­mouth for Lu­cas Perez to tap in with his left foot at the far post.

The hat trick goal was more im­pres­sive, as Lu­cas Perez ad­vanced into the path of the ball 15 me­ters (yards) out to shoot right-footed across the dive of goal­keeper Tomas Va­clik.

Ozil’s vi­sion­ary as­sist was the key to Arse­nal’s fourth. A fast, di­rect break saw the Ger­many playmaker surge into the Basel penalty area and de­ceive de­fend­ers who ex­pected him to shoot by clip­ping a re­verse pass for Iwobi to score eas­ily from close range. — AP beIN SPORTS 2 HD beIN SPORTS 5 HD beIN SPORTS 7 HD beIN SPORTS 1 HD beIN SPORTS 8 HD beIN SPORTS 9 HD beIN SPORTS 4 HD beIN SPORTS 6 HD

BASEL: Basel’s Marc Janko, cen­ter, in close ac­tion with Arse­nal dur­ing their Cham­pi­ons League Group stage Group A soc­cer match between Switzer­land’s FC Basel 1893 and Eng­land’s Arse­nal FC in the St. Jakob-Park sta­dium in Basel, Switzer­land, yes­ter­day. — AP

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